Android Permissions – Things to consider during app development

Android Permissions – Things to consider during app development

The term “Android Permission” means letting someone perform certain things. It is similar to giving authorization or consent provided to perform any sort of action. In the world of android, permissions match with the term authorization. Android apps are develope to execute a set of actions, among them some require permission from end-users. 

The android apps on your device determine what you can or cannot do with it. Most of the apps you download from the play store enables you to access phone contacts, social media platforms, make calls, play games, etc. Though downloading the apps from the play store is a simple task, reading the terms and conditions while giving permission is important. 

In this blog post, we will take you through the world of android permission, why concentrating on app permission matters a lot during app development, and how the OS has classified its permission. 

Android Permissions

All you need to know about Android App Permissions 

Let’s brief you about what the android permission actually is. When you are downloading an app or trying to use a certain feature, you will be asked to give permission to your device to access certain information. There are several different permissions an app can access, and the most common things are calendar, camera, contacts, location, phone, microphone, storage, and SMS. Most of the apps present in the app store, ask users to grant permission for these data as they become essential for your app to work as desired. 

For instance, a casting app requires access to your contacts to easily look up the people you want to send money to. Instagram might require permission to access your camera or microphone while you try to record certain things within the app. Similarly, Google Maps require your location to provide turn-by-turn navigation. 

Hence, apps cannot use certain things without first giving them permission to access things. However, you should be cautious to give them access. Not every app should need a phone’s microphone or phone’s storage, so ensure to be safe and secure while authorizing the permission. 

How permissions can affect app use and adoption

When apps try to access additional information from users, some people may feel insecure and leave the app with a negative comment. If a mobile app requires inappropriate permissions, like accessing a microphone or a camera where the app doesn’t require audio. Some customers may even complain about permissions such as network access in an ad-supported app. While there are some other sets of users who will simply move on when the app asks too many permissions, leaving app owners no way to track the number of downloads you lost. The best way to handle this is to reduce permissions you don’t need. 

Apps such as permission friendly apps and permission explorers can analyze permission required by apps on a mobile device for customers who are interested in exploring. Have a glance at the permission the apps on your mobile are requesting. 

Guides to develop an app with the context of Android app permission

  1. Make use of only the permissions necessary for the app to work: Based on how you are utilizing the permissions, there may be an alternative method to do what it needs (identifiers, system intents, or backgrounding for phone calls) without depending on access to sensitive information.


  1. Pay attention to app permissions required by libraries: When you incorporate a library, you should also inherit its permission needs. You should realize what the app includes, the permissions required, and what those permissions are utilized for.


  1. Be transparent: When you request for permission, be clear and transparent about what you’re accessing, and why you require the access. This will help in building trust and making informed decisions. Make this statement available along with the permission request including runtime, install, or update permission dialogues.


  1. Make the system accessible explicitly. Sending continuous indications when you are about the access sensitive capabilities such as the camera or microphone, make it clear to customers when and why you are collecting data to avoid the perception of collecting data surreptitiously.

Runtime Permissions with Android Marshmallow

After the release of Android Marshmallow, Google came up with runtime permissions for Android OS, thereby changing the permission setting for the better. With this update, the app developer would now request permission to perform some actions such as the use of the camera to click on some pictures or access the user’s device storage to save a document. Google also separated the set of permissions in Android into dangerous and normal permissions. 


  1. Normal Permission: It is for the apps that do not bring a risk to the device’s operation or the user’s privacy. The framework grants permission automatically. These incorporate getting networks, connecting to the internet, WIFI, Bluetooth, and NFC information, modifying audio settings, and alarms and wallpapers on the device. 


  1. Dangerous Permissions: It is for the app’s permission that could potentially affect the privacy of the device operation or the user. The user should explicitly accept to grant that permission which includes accessing contacts, location, camera, microphone, SMS, sensor, and storage.  

Being able to provide permission to the app only when it is being utilized is a great way to protect the user and device privacy. Google is addressing this issue in Android 11 that will allow permission requests for camera and microphone on a single-use basis. You can let the app access your microphone, location, or camera as one-time requests and when you close the app, and open it again the app will request for permission again.

No Comments

Leave a Comment